tv CNN Newsroom CNN August 23, 2013 2:00pm-4:00pm EDT
the lives of 13 of his fellow soldiers back in 2009. frankly it's the verdict that hasan wanted. cnn's ed lavendara just left the courtroom. >> reporter: it was an intense scene for the family members inside that courtroom as this verdict was read. in many ways it's a verdict that everyone knew was coming but nonetheless still very difficult for the family members who have had to endure the pain of almost the last three weeks of listening to the testimony. and i think even more difficult yesterday during the closing arguments that prosecutors put on watching the videotape from inside the room where the massacre occurred and everything that was left behind and the blood-stained floors and just that difficult scene in there was very difficult for those family members who have been sitting inside that courtroom for so long. nidal hasan simply stared at the soldier that read the verdict, had no reaction just sat there stoically stroking his beard. and that was about all of the
reaction we got. he has passed up on making any statements, testify himself. he's only asked a handful of questions of the witnesses, many of the witnesses who were his very own victims in this case. so it will be interesting to see how nidal hasan continues to react throughout the remainder of this. because breanna, we now move onto the sentencing phase and the punishment. because of these guilty verdicts, 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of premeditated attempted murder, 45 counts in all, nidal hasan is eligible for the death penalty here in this military justice system. so that part begins on monday. prosecutors are expected to call family members from each of the victims who were killed. it is not clear what nidal hasan will do if he will take the opportunity to kind of make any statements. the only time he's talked was at the very beginning during the opening statements where right out of the gate he admitted he was the shooter, and then started talking about how he was as a u.s. soldier on the wrong side of the war. and then he switched sides, and
that that's all he said basically at this point. so many people agree that this is exactly what he wants, that he wants to be put to death. breanna? >> ed, thank you so much. let's bring in paul callen a legal expert at cnn. as you heard ed say, paul, this isn't necessarily a surprise. now we look to the sentencing phase. do you have any idea what we're expecting? >> reporter: it's not a surprise. obviously this is what he wanted. it's been give ton him. now we begin really an elaborate process. drl be of course a trial on the sentencing whether it's the death penalty will be recommended. but then after that, breanna, because this is a military case, we go through a rather elaborate appellate procedure that's very different from what happens in civilian cases. the general who's in charge basically of the base in
question will have the right to review the verdict and the sentence, and he could set it aside if he wanted to or he can uphold it. then it goes into the military appellate process on its way eventually to the u.s. supreme court. >> and paul, hasan served as his own lawyer here. this was an unusual case. he also did not take the stand on his behalf, and he didn't call witnesses. did that surprise you? >> reporter: it did surprise me a little bit he didn't take the stand and testify. normally when someone chooses to represent themselves they're doing it because they want to be able to communicate directly to the jury. he may have decided that he was able to get his message across in other ways. the other thing that occurred to me as i watched the trial, you always worry that a defendant who represents himself in this situation not only will do a terrible job and probably wind up with the death penalty, and he seems to be heading down that road, but that he may
demonstrate himself to be mentally ill in some way and cause a situation where appellate court would look to overturn the conviction based on incompetence of the defendant in defending himself. so that's going to complicate the appellate process, the fact that he was his own counsel. >> and this all picks up again on monday. paul callan,cnn legal analyst, thank you for that. now we're going to move on to another breaking story, this one out of california where a state of emergency has been declared as a massive wildfire invades one of the country's premiere national parks. this is the so-called rim fire which has now spread into yosemite. it blew up overnight to cover a mind-boggling 100,000 acres. let's go right to nick james of sacramento affiliate kovr. so nick, any mandatory evacuations under way in the park? >> reporter: well, breanna, we haven't heard of anything involving yosemite at this point. there are some homes to the west
of the fire that have been evacuated at this point, about 300 homes, 2500 more homes under an evacuation advisory. but to that number is expected to grow here as flames continue to spread. behind us you can see some of the aftermath of the rim fire, but of course quite unfortunately the flames are still spreading at this hour for the second straight night. it really blew up in the overnight hours, as you said over 100,000 aches now, containment just at 2% as the fire is growing aggressively pretty much in every direction. new this morning we've learned it has crossed into yosemite national park. but also burning strongly to the west where there is a small community by the name of pine mountain lake. and so there are some homes that have been evacuated there as yesterday sheriff's deputies went door-to-door and said, that's it, it's time to go. for the rest of the folks under the evacuate advisory, many of them haven't left just yet but are packed and ready to do so at a moment's notice. as far as conditions they are not cooperating for firefighters. this is burning in an area that is incredibly difficult if not impossible for them to reach some of those rugged canyons
just incredibly steep. no roads there so they've had to attack this from the air. in fact, they had two dc 10s here yesterday performing drops but barely made a dent in this fire. it's also burned right along highway 120, the way into yosemite from the west side, and a stretch of 120 remains closed today. and so they've really had a multifront fire to attack. they are struggling to do so. they have more than 2,000 firefighting personnel here on this fire, which is more than any other fire in the nation. and breanna, there are more firefighters on the way, more equipment as well from all across the country as they are trying desperately to get this under control. right now it is burning out of control. >> and they will need it with those conditions for sure. nick james of kovr, thank you so much. let's bring in chad myers. chad, you heard nick and you saw those pictures. unbelievable. when people think of yosemite they think of course of all of those beautiful sights, those waterfalls on the valley floor. how close now that it's in the park do you think it is to sort of the area that people really
know as yosemite? >> it's about 15 miles away. 15 from the valley floor from half dome. but moving up toward granite dome. if you want to look at a map you can kind of see where it's going. san francisco, yosemite, the rim fire right here. and let me take you through the last five days of the rim fire. as it heads on up into a granite dome area, not going to be a lot more burning through here. there's a lot more granite than trees. but here we go. right here. this red is monday. then tuesday. wednesday, thursday, friday. so overnight last night 64 square miles of new forest burned in this fire. and we'll take you down all the way down into the valley first and show you how close we are. about 15 miles down toward the valley. the smoke is traveling to the north but we'll go this way. here is the half dome. we're not blowing any smoke this way. it's all going to the north. this is what the valley looks like. a beautiful deep valley here just carved out through all of this granite. but the reporter there talked about was the people that are being evacuated on this side. we're talking about yosemite,
but there are many homes from twin heart down to the south and down to highway 120 that are going to have to be evacuated if this gets any closer. right now the fire about four to six miles from all of these homes here. if it charges or eats a little bit away, very very rugged terrain here. hard for the forest fires to get to. chad, thank you so much for that update. in lebanon, horrifying video suggests the civil war in neighboring syria may be spilling across the border. officials say at least 50 people were killed and 600 wounded in blasts at two mosques during friday prayers. the mosques are in the coastal city of tripoli that's north of beirut. and state-run media in lebanon say the mosques may have had ties to rebels in syria who are waging war against the syrian government. one of the mosques was near the homes of lebanon's acting prime
minister and other prominent political figures. damage was extensive in the arias around the moaithe areas around the mosques. more than 60 vehicles were destroyed by the explosions it was reported. u.s. military officials updating options for a forceful intervention in syria. one plan even exploring ways to take out president assad's capability to deliver chemical weapons. and then there's this. it is a rare thing here at cnn for us to come across a video so graphic, so disturbing and raw that we decide to just play it raw, unedited. and we're going to be silent. i want to give you adequate warning here. you're going to want to get your kids out of the room. if you cannot watch i urge you at least to stay with us as we talk about this footage. itv news claims it was obtained from what it says is a credible independent syrian filmmaker and journalist. here it is.
>> rebel fighters say their government did this, claiming more than 1300 people died, many of them children as you see there, in this alleged chemical weapons attack. and ivan watson is here. he's our senior international correspondent. ivan, you've reported extensively frommed in of syria. you've met with people on both sides of the fighting. what do you make of what we're seeing in these pictures? >> reporter: these are haunting images. we're not showing them because we love these gruesome images. but because they could be evidence, that they could make a case that weapons of mass destruction, that chemical weapons were used as has been alleged but not verified thus far in these communities around
the capital damascus. and if the casualty figures that the opposition are claiming are anywhere close to the figures that we're hearing, 1300 or more, this would be the deadliest use of chemical weapons in the region and in the world since 1988 when saddam hussein used chemical weapons against iraqi kurds in the northern town of halabja. i've been to that town of halabja before. the iconic images of the aftermath of saddam hussein's gassing of the kurds in halabja are quite similar to these images that we're seeing from the neighborhoods and suburbs around damascus. it's very striking that there is this similarity here. of course it's very important to note that we have not confirmed this. nobody has confirmed, in fact, whether chemical weapons were used for killing these civilians. and also the strange images that we've seen of piles of sheep,
for instance, dead, of cats and dogs dead in the street. that also suggests perhaps they inhaled something terrible and poisonous. breanna? >> now, ivan, people want to know, what is the u.s. going to do? so i want to play you this sound. it's from a cnn exclusive interview with president obama. >> and if the u.s. goes in and attacks another country without a u.n. mandate and without clear evidence that can be presented, then there are questions in terms of whether international law supports it. do we have the coalition to make it work? and those are considerations that we have to take into account. >> do you believe you've seen enough? >> well, this latest event is something that we've got to take a look at. but keep in mind also, chris, because i know the american people keep this in mind, we've still got a war going on in
afghanistan. >> preoccupied with the war in afghanistan. it really seems like he's sort of cautioning against the u.s. getting involved here. what do you make of his reasoning, ivan? >> reporter: well, it's very clear that the obama administration has been very reluctant to get involved in the syrian conflict which has been going on for more than two years, which has led to the deaths of more than 100,000 people and at least close to 2 million refugees have fled to neighboring countries. today the united nations saying the million th child refugee has fled the country. here we have allegations of again what could be one of the worst chemical weapons attacks really in decades taking place in syria. the question is, what can the u.s. do? can it use force? and what will that accomplish? it can punish the assad regime which has been in an all-out war with syrian rebels now for several years. an assad regime that has been willing to use scud missiles
against other syrian cities and towns. what could potentially cruise missile strikes or air strikes accomplish? and that's a question i can't really answer, because so much of syria has been destroyed already over the course of the past two years. a defense official has been talking to our chris lawrence at the pentagon and saying that one of the options being looked at would be potentially trying to hit potential areas where these chemical weapons are being stored by the syrian military. breanna? >> all right. we will continue to pursue more information on what those options are. ivan watson, thank you. coming up, very soon the mayor who was accused of sexual harassment by now 18 different people may be calling it quits. this is a source tells cnn about bob filner's talk was staff meeting this week. plus a major scare involving jennifer lopez. we are getting word that a man lived on the grounds of her mansion for six days without anybody knowing.
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diego will give up his office. this video shows bob filner leaving his office from a rear exit. and there's been no comment from the 70-year-old democrat while he's been in mediation talks with the city. this of course all stems from a torrent of sexual harassment claims from 18 women now. at 4:00 p.m. eastern, the city is to make an announcement. and it's expected that's when we will hear that filner is resigning. cnn's casey wyan is at the san diego city hall. casey, do you know any other detail about this scheduled announcement? >> reporter: a little bit after 4:00 p.m. eastern time, what's going to happen then is at 4:00 p.m. there will be a brief public comment period. and then the city council will go behind closed doors into closed session to consider this mediation agreement that was released -- that was reached on wednesday night after three days of mediation involving city officials, attorneys for bob
filner, and gloria allred at least initially, the attorney for one of his accusers. they will not release details of that negotiated settlement, that proposed settlement. but what one of the participants has said gives a very clear picture of what they've been talking about. kevin faulkner, who is a city councilman involved in those negotiations, said, i join these mediation discussions to ensure the city gets the best possible deal for taxpayers. we must put this civic dysfunction behind us. that speaks to two things. as long as bob filner remains in office as mayor, the city business is at a virtual stand still. a lot of things are not getting done. the best deal for taxpayers, obviously there's going to be some sort of a financial settlement that will protect bob filner's interests. we don't know what those are. a lot of people, including gloria allred, saying they do not want any taxpayer money going toward paying any settlements for bob filner. but it sure seems as if city leaders think that they're going to need to pay something to make this problem go away.
breanna. >> so casey, filner attended a staff meeting on wednesday. and we heard thought was pretty awkward. >> reporter: that's what i'm hearing as well. in fact, someone who was at that meeting a city hall employee said thought was in fact awkward. they were very disappointed. because filner did not apologize for what he has put the employees of this city through over the last several weeks. they were expecting this person told me something more. all he said was, we'll see you today. so we're expecting to mare frhe may filner later today. >> casey wian, thank you. coming up next, ben affleck as batman. he is set to play the dark knight in the new film. some people are not happy. i kind of am but i feel like i'm in the minority. i want to know what you think. will ben affleck make a good batman or is this a huge mistake? we have that story next. heads be who can't put life on hold because of a migraine. so they trust excedrin migraine to relieve pain fast. plus sensitivity to light,
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month before being caught. the man, a former rhode island firefighter, even posted photos of the $10 million home on facebook. j-lo was not at home, but security guards were on duty or they were supposed to be. someone on her staff finally challenged the man who claimed that he was lopez's husband. he was arrested and held on $100,000 bail. now to a man who was almost jennifer lopez's real husband. we're talking about ben affleck. and a lot of you have heard that big announcement from warner brothers that he'll star as the next batman in the sequel to "man of steel." but judging by a lot of angry tweets and even now a petition on change.org, that word says it all, many of you don't think that affleck compares to his batman predecessors. >> how much do you weigh? >> about 108, i think.
>> a man's got to go his own way. a friend told me that. >> why are all the gorgeous ones homicidal maniacs? is it me? >> i'm not as serious as yours, i fear. >> so i want to bring in ryan roderick. he is a reporter at buzz feed. and ryan this, announcement is not going over so well with folks especially on twitter. were you surprised by this? >> i wasn't too surprised. ben affleck is a questionable choice. he's already been a superhero before. he was daredevil. if you're not familiar, it was a massive flop. and a pretty bad movie. so a lot of people are pretty surprised that he would be chosen for another role. >> okay. but let me ask you this, because well, first off let me tell you, i'm kind of a fan. i think he's cute. i think he's got a good jaw
line. i think that's like half the battle when it comes to batman. but we've seen him recently in some pretty respectable flicks, you could say some more serious flicks "the town" we saw him in "argo" he seems to be gaining respect behind the camera as a director. do you think he's going in the right direction by kind of throwing himself into these i guess you could say a new acting role and main not the most serious of flicks? >> well, i agree with you. he has a fantastic jaw line. and i also agree with you that he's been doing a lot of really important work. i mean, his directing is terrific. "argo" was a lot of fun. he was definitely the right choice for that role. it was a fun action flick. and he was very gris elled looking. this might be part of a bigger plan for him to get back into acting. but batman is sacred to a lot of people as twitter would show you. and a lot of people were a
little put off and concerned that their favorite character wasn't being treated as well as they'd like. >> i see. well, i mean, in my opinion i think it's all kind of been downhill since michael keaton, personally. but let's be honest, ryan, people are still going to go see it, i think. >> yeah. and we all agree that george clooney's batman is probably the least favorite universally. so it would be tough to get any worse than that. but who knows? ben affleck could knock it out of the park. he's not a terrible actor. he's just hard to take seriously. and batman is kind of a serious role, especially after christian bale turned it around from this goofy family film into this really intense movie franchise. so people i think want more of that and are worried it might go away. >> it really is the dark knight now. ryan broderick, thank you so much for joining us. >> thank you. well, coming up, president obama weighing in on the high cost of a college education. he spoke exclusively with cnn's chris cuomo about what he plans to do about it.
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it is the bottom of the hour. i am breanna keeler. president obama wants college students to get more bang for their buck. the president is trying to sell his plan to shrink college costs and shake up higher education. he wants the federal government to create a new rating system, to rank colleges and universities on the value they provide students. obama sat down for this exclusive one-on-one interview with cnn new day host chris cuomo. >> once we develop the rating systems, part of what we're going to argue to congress is that we should tie in some way the way financial aid flows to schools that are doing really well on this and not so much on schools that aren't. if a school has a higher default rate than it does a graduation rate, then we should give them a chance time prove, but
ultimately we don't want kids settled with debt, we want them to get a degree and be able to get a good job. >> obama wants the new ranking system up and running fast, by 2015. and he also wants to link government-backed student aid to college performance. so how are folks grading president obama's plan? yahoo! finance columnist rick new man joining us now in new york. rick, i'm curious, would you give the president an a or an f on this one? >> i think i'd probably give him a b or a b plus on this. there's something refreshing about this. we're used to hearing president obama and other politicians in washington say they've got this great idea, the only problem is it will have to get through congress. of course that's impossible because nobody can agree on anything. the government can actually start doing these ratings that obama's talking about without congressional approval. this is something the department of education is planning to roll out on its own. it doesn't require any change in the law. and the education department is already collecting a lot of the information that will enable it to do these ratings.
so that is actually going to be a new source of information for consumers which can only help people who are trying to figure out where they should go to college and where they will get the best return on what is really a humongous investment of money. >> let's talk about the money. there are some critics, obviously, of the government subsidizing loans. and the federal government actually profits from lending college students money. so feds have some skin in the game here. can the federal government really be a fair arbiter do you think of a college's value? >> well, that's a fair question. and this gets to the second part of this idea, which will require new legislation, congressional approval. and that's to tie federal aid to these metrics about schools. so if one of your metrics is affordability or graduation rates, people going to those schools might get more federal aid. there are problems with that. that's a thorny issue. so i think it's less clear that's likely to happen.
and yes, there are some issues with federal aid. there's a lot of it. i think it totals about $150 billion a year. a lot of people think that this huge amount of money that the government basically guarantees actually is one factor that has been pushing up tuition. now, you can't say well because we want tuition to fall the government should guarantee less aid for students. that's not going to be very popular. but we're talking about small steps that might do something at least in the beginning here to help students. >> yeah. and it's interesting to hear talk of what congress has needed to do and what the administration can do without congress's help because there isn't really a lot of i guess common ground there. rick neumann thanks for joining us. >> sure. coming up, a terror plot to kidnap police officers, put them on trial and kill them. two people have been arrested. how police foiled this deadly domestic plot next. er ] this is claira. to prove to you that aleve is the better choice for her,
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the army sergeant who admitted to gunning down 16 afghan civilians has been sentenced to life in prison without parole. robert bales pleaded guilty to 16 counts of murder. and a military injury has been decided whether he would be able to get parole. during the sentencing phase, bales admitted to using steroids, sleeping pills and alcohol and slipping off base to go on a house to house killing spree. he also took responsibility for the killings, calling his rampage a quote act of coward is." we'll be right back after a quick break. play close. good . help keep teeth clean and breath fresh with beneful healthy smile food. with special crunchy kibbles and great taste... ...it's a happy way to a healthy smile. new beneful healthy smile food and snacks
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where would you go?iving neaway a trip every day.act woman: 'greece.' woman 2: 'i want to go to bora bora.' man: 'i'd always like to go to china.' anncr: download the expedia app and your next trip could be on us. expedia, find yours. a new controversial and popular app may force some guys to straighten up their act with the ladies. lori seagal is here to tell us what this lulu app is all about. anyway, nearly 1 million women have actually downloaded this on their phones, lori. so what is this
>> this could encourage better behavior with men if they're held accountable. anytime you have the ability to anonymously review somebody online in this age of online bullying you got to be a little bit careful. breanna? >> certainly. but you remember hot or not. so this is kind of like -- this is like a girl's revenge, i think. >> it totally is. you're absolutely right. >> lori seagall, thank you for that. some critics of the lulu app say if the tables were turned
and guys could rate women it would be flat-out sexist. a writer for the daily beast even said it's a form of cyber bullying. i want to bring in david bagno. host of news breaker with david bagnu. david do you think there's sexism here and does it fly because it normally goes the the other way? >> here's the thing. we're used to rating movies, now we are rating dudes? what's going on? if there was an app where guys could rate women the first headline would be sexist app hits mobile phones. i don't think it's sexist. i think it's fun in the sense that as your reporter just said, maybe it makes guys step up their game and act better. i do not think it's sexist but there is a total double standard. because we're poking fun at it now and saying it might make guys be better gentlemen. but if this is what a dude app and we were rating women? oh, my gosh the firestorm. >> of course. and when you're talking about something like this you can always sort of see the room that there would be for as you mentioned maybe guys behave
better. but there's also room for abuse. >> right. >> so huffington post says the app lets women review men like restaurants. we mentioned earlier the issue of cyber bullying. how big of a concern is that? >> here's the thing. i think to the degree that the app will allow you to remove yourself to some extent if you feel like you're being bullied, i think that's a safeguard that should be built in. for the most part i think it's poking fun, owning crocs, like you you probably want to stay away from a guy like that. but if you feel you're being bullied there should be a safeguard built in if that's built any think no harm no foul. >> certainly there should be a safeguard against crocs. no really against obviously the issue of abuse here. >> right? >> david, thank you for your insight. >> you got it. now up next it's one of the most iconic events and images in american history. and as thousands get ready to mark the 50th anniversary of the march on washington, one photographer is talking about the pictures that he took behind the scenes. but it's the image of one woman
who never knew her face became so iconic until now. >> i saw this earnest face. she's really a beautiful young girl. she was so intense. i wasn't the only one to be struck by it. ♪ norfolk southern what's your function? ♪ ♪ hooking up the country helping business run ♪ ♪ build! we're investing big to keep our country in the lead. ♪ load! we keep moving to deliver what you need. and that means growth, lots of cargo going all around the globe. cars and parts, fuel and steel, peas and rice, hey that's nice! ♪ norfolk southern what's your function? ♪ ♪ helping this big country move ahead as one ♪ ♪ norfolk southern how's that function? ♪
it is the 50th anniversary of the march on washington. hundreds of thousands of people gathered for the defining moment of the civil rights movement. a speech by dr. martin luther king jr. our don lemon is here now to tell us more. >> reporter: breanna, we all know those words. "i have a dream. i have a dream that one day this nation will rise up" and on and on. those were the words that people remember from the original march on washington. but there were also the images, those indelible images you see in black and white of the faces who were there. the black and white people who were there. and one of those was taken by a very young photographer. his name is roland sherman. and he was there and spotted one little girl with a sign in her hand behind a picket fence. and she became the face of the march. >> i was out there covering this giant event. a kid cub reporter with a couple
of cameras photographing the whole thing. i was the official government photographer. i couldn't be denied access to any part of it. i was like a free roving guy. you could see the access i had, the proximity i had. it looks like they're in their backyard singing folk songs to each other just for fun. but as hundreds of thousands of people gather around and listening to them. i'm really so happy with this picture. it shows all the emotion that's gone through this man's face. he was the guy who created the march on washington. this picture shows the spirit of it. another face in the crowd. it just happens to be caught at the right moment. i saw this earnest face. she's really a beautiful young girl. and she was so intense. i wasn't the only one to be struck by it. she has become like the face of
the march on washington. i wanted to show the people who couldn't be there the greatness of it, the majesty of it, the scope of it, closeups and long shots and all the faces in the crowd. and not only the superstars but the people themselves. i was just a kid. i was just starting out. i was like you're a freelancer and this is your first job? what if your first job is like the biggest event that's ever happened in your lifetime? >> so you heard it. it took almost 50 years for her to figure out that she was the iconic face of that march on washington because a family member told her. so it's not just the words that came out of the march, it was also those images that will leave a lasting impression on the nation not just the nation the world. breanna? >> amazing. don lemon, thank you. coming up, brand-new developments in the murder of a world war ii vet. police are hinting this may be a
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to the sydney morning herald. >> i don't think it was for fun. i don't think it was at random. i think it was an initiation. >> gang initiation? >> as i understand it, after that happened there's a list that pops up with my son's name at the top of the list and four others they were going to bump out. >> in fact, the sydney morning herald reports it was johnson's call to police that led to the arrests of the three suspects. duncan, oklahoma police have charged james edward jr., age 15 on the left of the screen there, and chauncey luna, 16 there, with first degree murder. michael jones, who is 17, faces lesser charges for driving the car. now, the father says these teens tried to get his son to join a gang and they threatened his son's life when he refused to. james johnson says his son told him this, he spotted the suspects outside the son's home where police detained them. johnson told the sydney morning herald "i just thank god i was
there and that chris was not outside. they could have just driven past and shot him. i don't even like to contemplate that." now across the country another apparent random killing. an 88-year-old man survived world war ii but not the streets of spokane, washington. police say that they have arrested one of two suspects who beat him to death on wednesday night, and the defendant is a juvenile. investigators say the attackers left delbert belten for dead after rock him in a parking lot. his friends called belten shorty and they toeftd him at one of his aunts, the eagles lodge. >> we know he's up there looking down on all of us and we love him. to shorty. >> to shorty. >> to shorty. >> every time i come into town he'd have a project for me to do. i thought of him more as a dad than i did a friend, really. i don't understand how come somebody can do this. i really don't. >> now, friends say that belton was hit in the leg during the battle of okinawa in world war
ii. what this couple are accused of will shock you. 42-year-old david broush and 67-year-old devin newman are members of the anti-government sovereign citizen movement. for five months, las vegas police have been watching them. >> as the investigation progressed, we became aware that these two individuals were extremists in their beliefs and were actively plotting to kidnap and kill at least one southern nevada police officer. the suspects further believed once the first kidnapping and execution was accomplished they would be compelled to keep repeating their actions, kidnapping and killing multiple officers. >> important to mention here, the fbi lists members of this anti-government movement among the nation's top domestic terror threats. police say the two found a vacant house. they rigged it with bolts drilled into wall supports creating a makeshift jail where they planned to hold captive
officers, try them in a court of their own laws, and then kill them. with us now, joey jackson. he's hln's legal analyst. he's also a former prosecutor. so joey, this all came undone thanks to undercover officers and recorded conversations over four months. are undercover operations like this problematic when it does get to a court? and should they have waited longer to see if they actually tried to follow through on their plans? >> reporter: you know, interesting enough, breanna, they i believe here have compelling evidence. when you look at undercover officers and the work they do, you don't have to allow the work to be completed in order to have a case. and here as we know, breanna, the charge is conspiracy. what does that mean? it means that you've agreed to engage in criminality. so if you match up that and you look at the fact that there was this house that they constructed or at least took over and made into this makeshift court that they were going to do these trials for these police officers, because we don't follow the laws of the united states. and then you match up that with the undercover work that was
additionally to that, which was surveilling other police officers to seat nature of the stops that they do, then the undercovers went with them to see if they could purchase guns. so i think there's a substantial amount of evidence to try them with conspiracy to commit murder, conspiracy to kidnap, and other charges which are likely to evolve as the investigation continues. >> and obviously, joey, you don't want them getting to the point where they're actually carrying out what is this alleged heinous i guess heinous plan that they had. so when you're looking at most of these sovereign citizens, they distrust the government. they claim its members are not ruled by u.s. laws. how do you defend someone that is so against authority? >> reporter: well, with great difficulty. because the first thing is -- i should tell you before that that under nevada law, what happens, breanna, you don't need for conspiracy an overt act. what does that mean? under federal law and many other state laws you need to establish some other substantial step and furtherance of the conspiracy.
so nevada voids that, which makes it even more difficult to defend. because now you have other evidence that's brought to bear. but i think the first thing you have to look at their psychological state, see if they are competent to stand trial based upon what they were looking at doing, and then perhaps you cut a deal with the government. >> we will have to see if that's what happens. joey jackson, thank you. top of the hour now. i'm breanna keilar in today for brook baldwin. we begin with breaking news. the army sergeant who admitted to gunning down 16 afghan civilians last year has been sentenced to life in prison without parole. robert bales pleaded guilty to 16 counts of murder and a military jury has been decided whether he would be able to get parole. during the sentencing phase, bales admitted to using steroids, sleeping pills and alcohol and slipping off base to go on a house to house killing spree. he called his rampage a quote
act of cowardice. in the last hour the jury has sentenced bales it life without parole. meantime, more breaking news out of texas. another jury has found major nidal hasan guilty in the fort hood massacre, a rampage that took lives of 13 of his fellow soldiers back in 2009. frankly, it is the verdict that hasan wanted. and cnn's ed lavendera was in the courtroom when this happened. you said earlier, ed, it was very intense. >> reporter: it was intense for those family members, many of which have been sitting inside that courtroom listening to gruesome, graphic testimony. in fact, one of the things that really stood out, it was yesterday during closing arguments that prosecutors showed a fbi video that lasted i think probably closer to between like seven to ten minutes just walking through what was left overof the shooting scene inside the room, the processing center where all these soldiers were massacred and wounded. they had to sit there quietly and watch that as it was played
for the jury before the jury started its deliberations. it took nearly seven hours of deliberations, but the jury has found that nidal hasan is guilty, unanimously on the premeditated murder charges, and guilty of 32 attempted murder charges. so that means that nidal hasan is now eligible for the death penalty, which means this trial moves into the sentencing phase. that is scheduled to begin monday morning here once again at fort hood. we're told by prosecutors that they will be calling and putting on witnesses at least one family member from each of the victims that was killed to give their statements here to the jury. it is interesting, as we've said, the prosecutors are fighting for the death penalty, and in many ways, many people believe that nidal hasan is fighting for the exact same thing in papers that he has released he says he would still be considered a martyr if he were to be lethally injected. and so that is where we stand. so it will be interesting to see if nidal hasan who has had very
little to say since the very opening of this trial, whether or not he testifies on his own behalf or makes any comments. he's refused to speak at all. >> up surprise of some people. a state of emergency declared in california. the fast-moving rim fire is now about eight miles inside yosemite national park. it doubled in size overnight to a mind-boggling 100,000 acres. scott gettiman is the public information officer for yosemite. he joins us by phone. scott, tell us about what progress fire crews are or are not making today. >> the fire crews are make progress. this is a fast-moving wildfire. and as of last evening, the fire has entered yosemite national park. and there's approximately 11,000 acres of yosemite national park that have been affected by the
rim fire. >> so scott, i'm a californian. i've been to yosemite. i've hiked half dome. it is one of the jewels of the national park system. it is absolutely beautiful. you have a lot of poem concerned. how close is this getting to obviously the sites there of the valley there in yosemite? >> right now the fire is well over 20 miles away from yosemite valley. the fire entered the park last evening in the lake eleanor area which is in the northwestern portion of the park. this is a fairly remote area. there's not a lot of visitor services. but then you mention half tome, el capitan, yosemite falls, yosemite valley, are well over 20 miles away from the fire. >> scott gedeman, we appreciate you being on the phone with us. let's bring in chad myers. he has pretty cool maps on this. chad you've got about 4 million people who visit yosemite.
it's one of the most popular national parks. how close -- we heard him say how close it was. it's not terribly close, but it's fast-moving. >> and the wind isn't blowing it that direction. that's the most important thing right now. i mean, you only have 2 or 3% containment. at one point yesterday it was 1%. i don't even know where you draw the line between 1 and 0 and 2. so it's not contained. so let's go right down here. here's san francisco. here's the national park. we'll fly you right in here and i'll show you what happened over the past couple of days how really this thing just did explode last night. here's granite dome area up here. this would be great when the fire gets up into granite dome. there's just not a lot of tree cover in here. it will certainly slow down. where it is now is in a very forested and very dry forested area. let's drive you right into this map right through here. t the red monday. monday, tuesday and last night. this thing grew 63 square miles in one day. the good news is it's growing that way. because half dome and the valley
well down to the south here. well down to here. look at the smoke, blowing the fire, blowing the smoke that way. half dome way down here. 16 to 20 miles away from the valley itself. like you said, the valley is a beautiful place. could fly you right into half dome, into some of the falls right through here on our google earth. wind is not blowing it this way. should be okay for labor day, but if that wind shifts out of the west, all of a sudden that fire can blow that way rather quickly. talked about yosemite. there's also people on the other side of this fire that are being affected right now because this fire is of course blowing that direction. but there are towns all along the valley here to the east of let's say san francisco, but to the west of yosemite fires only about four to six miles away from mere. breanna. >> fascinating you can seat smoke all the way they're seeing it there in carson city. amazing. chad myers, thank you. >> you're welcome. for weeks now, he has refused to step down but now in less than two hours we may know if the mayor of san diego will
give up his office. there's been no comment from the 70-year-old democrat while he's been in mediation talks with the city. this all stems from a torrent of sexual harassment claims from 18 women now. and at 4:00 p.m. eastern the city is going to make an announcement. it is expected that's when we will hear that filner is resigning. cnn's casey wian has the latest from san diego city hall. and casey, this is something that's been going on for a long time. tell us the latest. >> reporter: breanna, we do not know many of the specific details that are in this proposed settlement that should lead to the resignation of mayor bob filner if in fact the city council approved this agreement later this afternoon. but we are getting some idea about the issues that the city council is going to be struggling with. kevin faulkner, one of the city council members who was actually involved in these negotiations, put out a statement saying that he has had to try to craft this agreement with the best
interests of san diego taxpayers in mind. but also with an eye toward ending this dysfunction that the city of san diego has endured. the dysfunction, the fact that bob filner still remains in office. the taxpayer issue? how much of the potential legal bills that filner faces from a sexual harassment lawsuit, the one that has been filed, and any others that could come forward. how much of that will city taxpayers be on the hook for. gloria allred, the attorney for the former city employee who has filed that sexual harassment lawsuit, says she doesn't want any taxpayer money to actually go toward settling any of these claims against filner, but city council members believe that they need to do something to end this stalemate, to end this dysfunction that has been gripping the city of san diego for weeks. breanna. >> casey wian following this developing story for us from san diego. thank you. now, tens of thousands of american e-mails scooped up by mistake. that is the latest oops that we've heard on nsa surveillance
programs. just this week the nsa released classified documents revealing the e-mail snafu and the stern response from a surveillance court judge back in 2011. now president obama is talking about this nsa revolution -- or pardon me, revelation i should say in his exclusive interview with cnn new day's chris cuomo. >> what was learned was that nsa had inadvertently, accidentally pulled the e-mails of some americans, in violation of their own rules because of technical problems that they didn't realize. they presented those problems to the court. the court said, this isn't going to cut it. you're going have to improve the safeguards given these technical problems. that's exactly what happened. >> let's go ahead now and bring in candy crowley. she's cnn's chief political correspondent. candy, the president has gotten so much flak on this nsa program
lately. and it kind of feels like we're seeing him say the same thing in a way over and over. did you hear any new assurances here? >> reporter: i didn't. but you're right. i think that the problem is, it seems to me, that no one knows really what edward snowden has. every week, every couple of weeks there's some new revelation. and a lot of people have said to the president, mr. president, get out there ahead. you must know what this guy has. because what's really killing them is that with every revelation, the group that wants to do something about reforming the nsa or curtailing its surveillance or its data collecting, that group grows bigger. but i think what the president has on his side and what he knows is that nobody wants to be the person that stops or curtails the program that might stop the next terrorist. so there is that balance in there that is on the president's side in terms of changing. because what we are not hearing at all, yes, we're hearing about
we ought to have an advocate in the courtroom when the secret court says okay this surveillance is okay. and maybe we ought to do this or that. but you're not hearing is maybe we ought to change this program. and i think that's the victory that the administration sees. there are those who think that this particularly, the e-mail, and u.s. phone calls, that data collection is way too broad. those folks on capitol hill are still in the minority. so time has kind of run against the president. but the theory of security versus privacy weights in his favor. >> sure. and democrats and republicans saying enough with the drip drip drip. get it all out there. tell us what's going on. so i want to switch gears now, candy. i want to play sound of the president talking about rush limbaugh and his private talks with what he calls republican friends about shutting down the government in order to defund obamacare. >> sometimes they say to me privately, i agree with you, but
i'm worried about a primary from somebody in the tea party back in my district. or i'm worried about what rush limbaugh's going to say about me on the radio. >> pretty fascinating stuff, candy. what do you make of that? >> reporter: i think that there are a lot of republicans who have publicly said i agree on the president with this problem or that problem. there's always disagreement in the broad picture. an then they get down and they even agree where the goal is but they never quite agree how to get from the problem to the goal. that's where it always is. so certainly there is a commonality that looks at the problems. and there's a commonality among the parties. it's how to fix the problems where they kind of separate. i think that the other part, it's very true. and again, republicans will tell you this. that what is most troubling right now to many republicans, particularly in the house side which is very district centric,
obvious, is that the further they go towards something in the more moderate vein or if they were to vote for something with obamacare or vote against defunding it, that they would draw a challenge in their district from the right. i think that is very true. and they will tell you that. and we've already seen it happen. it's not only happening in the house, it's happening in the senate. so look, next year is a political year. and you know what that means. there's going to be a lot of political calculation, a lot more political calculation, i should say, going into it. >> that's right. the top republican in the senate, mitch mcconnell, facing it as well. candy crowley, thank you. >> you can catch candy on "state-of-the-union" on sunday. coming up a group from newtown asking starbucks to ban guns inside all of its shops nation-wide. starbucks is now responding. plus the brother of the alleged gunman who opened fire at a school in georgia raises questions about the president'
role. i will talk with an expert on what he said next. >> he should be more focused on trying to get to the bottom of what he can help or how he can help these kids in today's society instead of calling somebody just to thank them for what they did. [ male announcer ] a man. a man and his truck... and a broken fence... and a lost calf. ♪ and the heart to search for as long as it takes. and the truck that lets him search for as long as it takes. ♪ the all-new chevy silverado. the most fuel-efficient v8 in a pickup. strong for all the roads ahead.
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available now at meineke.com. accolades are pouring in for the georgia school bookkeeper credited with averting what could have been a national tragedy. antoinette tuff calmed down a gunman who walked into her school carrying hundreds of rounds of ammunition. >> we all go through something in life. no, you don't want that. you going to be okay. >> now, tuff talked the man into surrendering. her calm, collected bravery in the face of an extreme threat has earned her the title of hero and also a personal thank you from president obama. he calls tuff while she was in the cnn makeup room getting ready for an interview with anderson cooper. >> what did he say to you? >> he just wanted to let me know that him and his wife and his family was very proud of what i did and everybody wanted to
thank me. and they were happy and glad for what i did and that it was -- for me being a hero. hopefully one day he would be able to get to meet me. so that would be -- just to see his voice -- to hear his voice. but to see his face would be even more awesome. >> the president wants to meet you, he'll figure out a way to make that happen. >> yes. he figured out a way to call me, right? >> when i heard the 911 call and read the sequence of events, i thought, here's somebody who's not just courage and not just cool under pressure but also had enough heart that somehow she could convince somebody that was really troubled that she cared about him. and i told her, i said that not only did she make michelle and me proud but she probably saved a lot of lives, including the life of the potential perpetrator. >> not everyone is as thrilled about president obama's call,
specifically the brother of the alleged school gunman. here's what he said on cnn's piers morgan live. >> he should be more focused on trying to get to the bottom of what he can help -- or how he can help these kids in today's society instead of calling somebody up just to thank them for what they did. yeah, i'm pretty sure she's been thanked by hundreds and hundreds of people. >> are you grateful to her? >> yes. >> i mean effectively she may well have saved your brother's life and the lives of countless children in the school. >> yes, sir. i really am. but i honestly did not see it necessary for president obama to call her up when he could have been focusing more on what could be done to prevent things like this. >> all right. i think some people might agree with both of those things. but certainly this is a story that begs us to look at the mental health angle here. now javon ornsteiner is a
forensic psychologist. you might know him better as dr. buzz. dr. buzz, this alleged shootser admitted he was off his meds. his family says he has a long history of mental illness. and we've seen, i would say, somewhat similar cases like this in some of these other shooters. or potential shooters. how does someone like this fall through the cracks? >> well, in actuality, first off i understand the frustration that his brother expressed. i certainly run into that constantly with the families of many of my clients. when we talk about people who fall through the cracks we have to remember that people that live with mental illness are often stigmatized, they're often in isolation. they often lack the connections they need to feel that they are being supported. and in addition to that, many people, unlike this individual, don't admit they're mentally ill and also do not want to take
medication. so there's many different issues and concerns that happen to the individual who has mental illness but also to the family members who feel frustrated, who feel that no one's helping them. and underlining really anger because they want their son or daughter to get treatment and their son or daughter is either not willing to form an engagement or they feel that they are kind of fallen through the cracks because they're either middle class and they aren't eligible for insurance or they're on the poverty level, they're homeless but they won't go to the steps to stand in line to get the government benefits that are being offered. >> and also, dr. buzz, this suspect as we mentioned, he seems to have some things in common with other potential shooters, other recent shooters. they're men in their 20s. they have a history of mental illness. and i've talked with some psychologists in the past, because unfortunately in news you just end up covering so many of these unfortunate shootings. and many psychologists say there aren't a lot of resources when
you know that you have a loved one or a friend who is mentally troubled. what can you do, though, if you do know someone who is mentally ill and maybe they haven't done something wrong but you'd like to at least alert someone to the potential that they could? >> absolutely. and there are things you can do. within your community there should be a city hospital. within that city hospital there should be a crisis unit. there should be a crisis intervention department that you can call and that you can meet with during a calm period with the person that you're trying to get services for and find out what their regimen is and what their services is for someone when they're off their medication or say that they have a break or they go through a manic phase and they definitely need intervention. you also can look into not for profit mental health agencies. and get in contact with a case manager. and form an alliance with that case manager. the bottom line is, we have to form relationships and
alliances, and that individual who suffers from mental illness must feel that they have a connection and the support. >> certainly. you almost got the sense in a way that that was i think how this was averted in a way, that tuff made a connection with him. >> yes. >> we're so thankful it turned out as it did. j.vonornsteiner thank you for your insight. >> thank you for having me. this is an interesting and troubling question. should a rapist have rights to see a child born from an attack? coming up next, we will look at a case in which one victim says the state is forcing her into a legal relationship with her attacker.
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a teenage rape victim is suing to try to stop her rapist from visiting the child conceived in the attack. the victim was just 14 years old when this man, jamie melendez, raped her inside her massachusetts home. he pleaded guilty. the rape victim got pregnant, and she decided to have the baby. courthouse news service reports the rapist has filed a petition
seeking visitation rights after a judge ordered him to pay child support. now rape victim is suing the state of massachusetts to get the rapist out of her child's life. let's bring in our legal panel. defense attorney from washington and hln legal analyst joining us from new york. rebecca, does the legal system offer any protections for a rape victim's child? >> it's my understanding this is the only decision in the united states of america that has fallen this way. so i hope that the laws in massachusetts are going to change. because they need to. this was a 14-year-old baby. and she was raped in her own home. and the last thing she needs is a relationship with her rapist. and the last thing she needs is to continue to have a child that has a relationship with a rapist. and if she gets into family
court, which is going to happen to work all of this out, she cannot choose not to participate. if she doesn't participate, she going to lose her child. so that means she's going to be forced to have a relationship with a rapist. and that just cannot be. >> no. it's unfathomable. so joey, i want to ask you about this. you look at this case and you get the sense that a lot of it is about money if not all of it. the victim's lawsuit claims the rapist offered to withdraw his visitation request in exchange for not having to pay child support. >> exactly. that tells you right there that it's a monetary matter. but i think in taking a step back what has to happen, breanna, it's a legislative issue. the reason i say that is because in massachusetts it's perfectly lawful, even in the event that you have a child and it's due to rape, for you to acquire custody of that child. and so if the legislature would change the law, then we wouldn't be dealing with the problem. however, to the extent that the law is what it is, i think it's still a viable lawsuit for public policy reasons.
why on earth should a mother be forced to endure a relationship with a rapist as a result of a by prod of this whole process? it just doesn't make sense. so from a public policy perspective, i certainly can see where the lawsuit could still be viable, broen. >> -- breanna. >> that seems like a lawsuit it has to change. rebekah? >> it's excellent timing. because we all saw that animal, ariel castro, ask for the exact same thing. >> true. >> he was denied outright. so it's perfect timing. and i'm pretty sure that now that everybody sees that it's still on the books it's the perfect time to change the law. and i think that's going to happen. >> seize the moment. >> seize the moment. >> absolutely. >> thank you guys so much. really appreciate it. >> thank you, breanna. >> thank you. so coming up, an anti-hate group claims a worker at homeland security spends his off time preparing for a race war and promoting anti-gay causes.
u.s. military officials updating military options to ipt ve intervene in syria. a look at how to take out assad's chemical weapons. this video is so graphic, so disturbing and raw that we decided to play it raw, unedited and silent. we want to give you adequate warning here. you're going to want to get your kids out of the room. if you can't watch it i urge you to stay with us as we talk about this footage. itv news says it was obtained from what it says was a credible independent syrian filmmaker and journalist. here it is. >> rebel fighters say their government did this, claiming more than 1300 people died, many
of them children. you saw some allegedly in this photo in this alleged chemical weapons attack. and to talk more about this now, fred let pleitgen is joining us from damascus, syria. fred you met with people on both sides of the fighting. what do you make of what we're seeing here? >> reporter: well, it certainly is obviously very gruesome video. as you said it is something that could potentially be a game changer if in fact it does come out that the syrian government is behind these alleged chemical weapons attacks. but of course there are still a lot of things that are open in all this. one of the things that's very interesting about the video, you see there you see those dead bodies lying there of course very gruesome with in part the women still holding the children in their hands. the strange thing is that you don't see any damage to the buildings, which could indicate that perhaps some sort of gas fume went through there rather than some sort of explosion. also the bodies that you see don't have any sort of marks, any sort of wounds on them that
could come from shrapnel or something like that. so there are telltale signs that it could have been a chemical attack. however, of course, we don't know whether or not this was actually true. and if it was a chemical attack, who's behind it? was it the government? was is the rebels? we know that both sides are accusing each other of having carried out purported attacks. we don't even know whether or not chemicals were unleashed. i was in one neighborhood that's actually very close to where all this allegedly took place. people there told me they didn't feel anything the morning that this allegedly happened. they themselves said there was no fumes blowing over. there was no rashes that they had. nothing that made them feel like they might have been subjected to chemicals. so it's a very very difficult situation. nothing is proven or disproven. but of course those images are very graphic. one of the things that is certainly clear is that something terrible happened in syria on wednesday morning. we do know that there was a large scale military operation going on by syrian forces on that wednesday morning, but whether or not chemical weapons
were used in that is impossible to determinate this point, even though, breanna, this is really the crazy thing about all this, there is a team of u.n. weapons inspectors that are only about five miles away from where this allegedly happened, breanna. >> that's right. and this happened as they were there. very curious. fred pleitgen, live for us in damascus following the story as he will continue. to thank you. coming up, an anti-hate group claims that a worker at the homeland security department spends his off time preparing for a race war and promoting anti-gay causes. we'll tell you about this controversial web site.
ammunition and weapons for the homeland security department. off duty he apparently calls himself the irritated genie. he reportedly pens this hate-filled web site opposing homosexuality and calling for the mass murder of white people. kamate is black as you saw and a former supervisor told the southern poverty law center quote everyone in the office is afraid of him. i want to bring in crime and justice correspondent joe johns in washington. joe, how is the homeland security department responding to this report? >> reporter: well, it's pretty clear that they're taking a look at it. this man is 39 years old, senior contract specialist with the department of homeland security and immigration and customs enforcement, i.c.e. his day job is apparently to encourage small businesses to bid for contracts with the federal government. but it's his moonlighting videos on the internet that are attracting attention. that web site called war on the horizon says it's purpose is preparing black people for an unavoidable, inevitable clash
with the white race. we reached out to mr. kamafe by telephone and e-mail. we haven't heard back from him. the liberal leaning southern poverty law center says mr. kamafe is the man known on the internet as the irritated genie. he's seen on video saying race war is imminent. he bashes gays, highly critical of president obama and people like nelson mandela. i.c.e. put out a statement. they say they do not condone any type of hateful rhetoric of advocacy of violence of any kind against anyone. every i.c.e. employee is held to the highest standard of professional and ethical conduct. accusations of misconduct they say are thoroughly investigated, if they're substantiated appropriate actions are taken. >> joe johns thanks for that report. in a few minutes the mayor accused of sexual harassment by 18 different women now may call
it quits. we learn about the awkward staff meeting this week. what is sure to be an interesting news conference. your body needs. this labor day, don't invest in a mattress until you visit a sleep number store. once you experience it, there's no going back. oh, yeah! at our biggest sale of the year, every bed is on sale. queen mattresses now start at just $599. and save an incredible 40% on our limited edition memory foam mattress sets. only at a sleep number store. sleep number. comfort individualized. i've got a nice long life ahead. big plans. so when i found out medicare doesn't pay all my medical expenses, i looked at my options. then i got a medicare supplement insurance plan. [ male announcer ] if you're eligible for medicare, you may know it only covers about 80% of your part b medical expenses. the rest is up to you. call now and find out
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>> we believe we're going hear the term of mayor bob filner's exit from the mayor's office in san diego. there's still a lot of details we're waiting to hear. we're waiting to hear about this sticking point that the los angeles times reported on. who pays for mayor filner's legal fees? is it going to be the taxpayers of san diego or is he going to do that himself? there's a lot of details. we're waiting for this announcement at 4:00, the top of the hour. >> all right. we will be checking in. "the lead with jake tapper" starts at 4:00 p.m. eastern. thank you, jake. we will be right back.
safe to say by now the people at warner brothers know about your choice for the next batman. take a look at this petition on change.org. a big fat no for actor ben affleck playing batman in the sequel to "man of steel." now it has over 12,000 counting signatures. tons of folks on twitter are saying the same. #batfleck was trending once we checked. some say affleck will do well. i will say i'm one of them. many say they're baffled by warner brothers decision to put him in the role. they don't think he has what s predecessors had when they starred as the superhero.
>> how much do you weigh? >> about 108, i think. >> a man's got to go his own way. a friend told me that. >> why are all the gorgeous oneshoodal maniacs? is it me? >> serious mistake. >> not as serious as yours, i fear. >> i want to bring in cnn entertainment editor abby goodman in los angeles. on the phone with us is cnn commentator and senior west coast editor for "vanity fair," christa smith. abby i'm going to start with you. what do you make of this reaction on twitter. >> as someone on twitter said, batman jokes are the reason why twitter was invented. everyone is having a good time playing with this. immediately after the news hit that ben affleck was going to play batman, the hashtag better batman than ben affleck started trending. people were having a lot of fun
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as we understand it according to our affiliate wbtv they were coming back from iraq. we know at this point three injuries. the extent of these injuries unknown. we will bring you more as it becomes available. before we go, refugee girls in chicago. some who have witnessed war, torture and death in their homeland now struggling to learn and fit in at their new high school. this week's cnn hero took it upon herself to help them adjust to life in america. >> my family came to america because we want a better life. >> we got to chicago, difficult to migrate. it's really hard the first day. i'm totally lost. >> it's hard enough to be a teenage girl in the united states.
so it's even harder to be a refugee teenage girl. >> my name is lori and i help refugee girls find their place in america. in my free time after work, i was tutoring different kids. one girl was really struggling. >> hello how is it going? >> good. nice to see you. >> >> he started going on feed tri -- field trips. we talked about college. one of our biggest goals together was for her to graduate from high school and be on a path to go to college. and she did. i thought this was really important i share this with other girls. >> we are -- >> awesome! >> there are about 50 girls in our different programs. >> you're making great progress. i'm so proud of you, you know? >> my mentorship program matches girls in high school with other mentors who work with them once a week. >> you have to write an essay,
right? >> yeah. i want to write about my life. >> in walking down the street, they are just teenagers. >> i want to have my own salon. >> one day i hope to become a nurse. >> i want to be a teacher. >> i want to become a doctor or a nurse. >> what i see is what all the girls can accomplish and everything that they can do. that's real ly why i do this. >> and you can see more at cnnheroes.com. now for something completely different, toronto mayor rob ford versus hulk hogan in an arm wrestling match. >> oh, oh, oh. oh, big man. oh, that's all you got, huh? [ laughter ] >> oh, brother, you know something? not only am i going to rip this arm off, i'm going to take your job, brother. >> all right. so hogan agreed to the stunt while he was in toronto for a fan conventn and fd